Ladies: 4 Surprising Libido Boosters That Will Make You Feel Alive Again
When we’re young, many of us take our vigorous libidos for granted, assuming we’ll always have the same zest for spontaneous sex romps and romantic weekends away with our partners. As we get older, our bodies change, we get bogged down with responsibilities and worries, and our sex drives can take a nosedive.
The truth is that your libido and ability to get and stay aroused are impacted by a variety of factors. Sex drive tends to be a more complicated issue in women than in men. While both men and women are impacted by naturally declining hormone levels with age, other factors, like body image, sociocultural influences (e.g., stress, societal expectations), and relationship problems tend to impact women to a greater degree.1
It’s important to address the more serious issues that may be affecting your sex drive, such as health problems, medications, or relationship difficulties; these things aside, you may just need a little pick me up. Count down and try these 4 libido-boosting tips:
4: Get more sleep.
Few of us would object to more sleep, and now you have yet another reason to catch a few more winks each night. One study found that women who slept one hour more a night had 14% higher odds of engaging in sexual activity with their partner;2 they also had better genital arousal than women who slept less. It’s no surprise, really. Sleep helps our bodies and brains recharge, so ladies, get your Zs!
3: Swap the gin and tonic with a glass of (red) vino.
Drinking moderate amounts of red wine (less than two glasses per day) was found to boost a woman’s libido, according to a study involving 800 healthy women aged 18 to 50.3 (Women who consumed other kinds of alcohol, e.g., spirits, or consumed no alcohol at all did not report the same boost in libido).
While the researchers couldn’t draw any hard conclusions based on a single study alone, the results were nonetheless compelling. One theory for why red wine may boost a woman’s libido: The antioxidants (polyphenols) in red wine widen the blood vessels, increasing blood flow to—ahem—key areas of the body.
2: Try supplements.
Just as vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to problems like constipation, fatigue, cramping, and dizziness, nutrient deficiencies can also contribute to low libido and dampened sexual response. The following three female libido supplements have been shown in studies to boost a woman’s libido:
- Iron: In one study, women who took an iron supplement (to correct a deficiency) noticed improvements in desire, arousal, lubrication, and ability to have an orgasm.4 If you have low libido, ask your doctor to test your iron (and other vitamin and mineral) levels. Note: Iron should only be taken if your doctor confirms you have a deficiency, as too much iron can be dangerous or even deadly.
- L-arginine: An essential amino acid, l-arginine may help dilate blood vessels, increasing blood flow to erogenous zones, boosting sexual arousal.5
- Tribulus terrestris: A flowering plant found in the Mediterranean, Tribulus terrestris improved sexual desire, lubrication, orgasm, and sexual satisfaction in a study of women who took 7.5 milligrams every day for 4 weeks; the women also reported less pain during sex.4
If you’re hesitant to use supplements, there are other natural ways to increase female libido, including incorporating certain foods into your diet, such as watermelon, broccoli, oranges, red peppers, and dark chocolate.6 Also, make sure to stay hydrated, which can help reduce vaginal dryness and prevent headaches and fatigue.
1: Do Kegel exercises
Doing Kegel exercises can not only help prevent problems with urinary incontinence—a common problem in women—these exercises can also improve sexual experience.
Our pelvic floor muscles, which hold our uterus, bladder, and rectum firmly in place, tend to weaken over time, especially in menopausal women and those who have had multiple children. Weak pelvic floor muscles can lead to stress urinary incontinence (UI), as well as diminished sexual experience since these muscles contract during orgasm. In short, stronger pelvic floor muscles can help prevent or reduce problems with UI and lead to stronger, longer orgasms.
Doing Kegel exercises can help strengthen the pelvic floor. Many women find it helpful to use a Kegel exerciser like PeriCoach, a vaginally insertable pelvic floor exerciser that pairs with your smartphone, so you can see your pelvic floor muscles working in real-time. PeriCoach guides you through Kegel exercises and provides you with snapshots of how you did after each session.
In fact, in the recent PeriCoach clinical trial, women that used the PeriCoach reported significantly higher sexual function scores and a reduced fear of leaking during intercourse.